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Pepper's Ghost

Year: 2005
Format: CD
Label: Verglas / InsideOut
Genre: [Neo-Progressive Rock/Melodic Rock]
Overall Rating: 9.5
Music: 9.5
Production: 9.0

Arena's previous studio album Contagion was excellent atmospheric neo-prog journey. Now they bring us Pepper's Ghost - stories of mystery and imagination. This new 52 minute album shows right from the start that Arena won't do bad records - especially, if you like neo-progressive rock music (i.e. IQ, Enchant, Saga, Shadow Gallery, Threshold, Tiles and the likes).

The opener Bedlam Fayre is a powerful keyboard driven neo-prog anthem which has good easy listening guitar solos and has vocal effects used similarly as Bono and U2 did with the Batman soundtrack 'Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me'. Then the second track, 'Smoke and Mirrors' has a nice straightforward flow. Third song, 'The Shattered Room', lasts almost 10 minutes but is so versatile song that it doesn't feel so long (especially the intro of the song is beautiful). 'The Eyes of Lara Moon' is an excellent simple and catchy song. 'Tantalus' has dark, hopeless mood and it builds into a fantastic song that has intriguing theatrical atmosphere (this is true class A neo-prog). 'Purgatory Road' has a nice short intro with screaming guitars before the song starts rolling (this song is the most straightforward on this album). The last track, 'Opera Fanatica' has an opera intro but actually these opera parts fit nicely on this song. In fact, there aren't any weak songs on this album.

The band's line-up has remained unchanged since 2000 and this album proves right that this is a good thing. Clive Nolan who is the mastermind behind this band has also taken care of production and I don't have anything to complain about it. This album just rocks.

Release date: 17.01.2005

Visit Artist's Website

- MIZU (14.01.2005)


Sowden, Rob: Vocals
Mitchell, John: Guitar and Backing Vocals
Nolan, Clive: Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Salmon, Ian: Bass and Acoustic Guitar
Pointer, Mick: Drums
Producer: Nolan, Clive
Mixing by: Nolan, Clive; Groom, Karl and Mitchell, John
Mastering by: Nolan, Clive; Groom, Karl and Mitchell, John
Arena - Pepper's Ghost  CD  Cover Image
01. Bedlam Fayre
02. Smoke and Mirrors
03. The Shattered Room
04. The Eyes of Lara Moon
05. Tantalus
06. Purgatory Road
07. Opera Fanatica
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